On October 9, 2007, the Camden County Homeless Network Planning Committee held a successful Housing First Summit in Community Center in Collingswood, NJ. The event attracted more than one hundred twenty (120) participants. They spend the morning learning about the benefits and developing plans to implement housing first as part of their Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.
During the morning and the afternoon the participants listened to a presentation by Mark Kinzly and Kevin Irwin Yale University on both the benefits of housing first and the challenges of housing substance abuse users. More than fifty (50) of the participants agreed to join the Camden County Housing First Collaborative. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 7th, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. at CPAC.
Among the speakers were Jennifer Velez, pictured on the left, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. She not only spoke of her departments commitment to ending homelessness but also of her family’s experience with homelessness.
Camden Mayor Gwendolyn A. Faison, pictured on the right, spoke about the moral responsibility for each of us to take care of our neighbors including the homeless.